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“Brilliant break with friends”
Review of Solar de Sao Joao

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Solar de Sao Joao
Ranked #100 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Reviewed 1 August 2014

We stayed in Solar for 5 nights at the end of July and were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the room. After reading reviews and booking via a last minute holiday website we weren't sure exactly what it would be like but I will DEFINITELY be returning!

The room was a great size with a lovely view of the pool. The facilities for cooking were more than enough with plenty of space for food. The room was cleaned daily, the staff were all really friendly and spoke great English.

After reading reviews on here we were aware of the 50 euro deposit per person so were prepared for that. We got the full deposit back and were allowed to store our luggage whilst waiting for the transfer.

We were within a 5 minute walk of the strip and a small supermarket where we bought all our food. Another 5 minutes and you're at the beach. There was no noise from the strip which was a bonus!

Only a couple of negatives - the wifi by the pool was a little unreliable and very slow and we found a few small cockroaches in the bathroom. Overall a really great experience.

Room Tip: Pick a room with a pool view
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Lianne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 July 2014 via mobile

We stayed at Solar end of June and were pleasantly surprised at how charming it is. Read some decent reviews on here along with a few negative ones, so was expecting something average but convenient so we were delighted when we got there.
Our flight was delayed due to the France ATC strike on 25th of June so we got there at 2 in the morning. We were received by a smiling pleasant lady called Sondra on the night shift who couldn't hv been friendlier.
Our room was a self catering one bedroom apartment on the ground floor, consisting of a large living room with kitchenette, large bedroom & bathroom and a grand verandah overlooking the pool and surrounded by lush green plants - it was simply marvellous.
I've seen comments about the decor being dated, well I would describe it as a bit retro but charming & full of character. The beds were surprisingly comfy, the sofa bed in the living room was more so. We even had a round glass dining table! Big wardrobes, well equipped kitchen with a kettle & microwave, quaint little features like recesses in the walls, paintings & wall hangings, an old fashioned TV, but my favourite was the tiled bench and table on the verandah.
5 mins walk to the Sao joao strip full of bars & eateries, 10 mins walk to the beach, 2 supermarkets within 3 min walk, quaint tourist train on tyres to the old town... super convenient location!
Don't just take my word for it, if you're looking for a value for money place to stay, stay there!

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Anubha K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2014

Value for money hotel only problem was cockroaches in corridor and in our room on a night. Best place to go in albuferia is Devlin's and donkey Daly's Irish bars just off the strip the staff are so friendly had amazing nights in there. Take jacket for evening as soon as sun goes down its freezing

Room Tip: No restaurant and bar closes at 8pm in this hotel
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank shelly19672014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2014

Stayed for a long weekend with a dozen or so friends celebrating a birthday. On arrival be prepared to put down a €50 deposit EACH on the room - that's €200 per room if you fill it, which is astounding. They took all of our passports, along with the cash, and gave them back out to random people within our group at any time of day - I got back to the hotel at around 2am with one of my friends and they demanded he take the passports of the remaining people in his room, rather than the hotel staff give them back themselves. This caused a few panics when people came to collect their passports the next day and they had gone.

The staff seemed pretty lazy, especially on reception where asking for anything seemed like too much effort. Asking for keys back brought out the sighs and buying anything from the reception shop felt like they were doing you a favour just for getting out of their seats. They will order you a pizza or a taxi, but be warned they take their own cut off the top, it somehow ends up being about €5 more than what it would be if you get it yourself. They also said they'd get me a taxi to the airport for €60, I politely declined and arranged my own transfer for around €9. They have no spare keys either so make sure if you're in a group that it gets left behind reception or it's with someone responsible.

The pool is okay but you don't want to walking around it barefoot as the stone ground can leave you with a few bruises and burns when it gets hot. The staff in the pool bar are actually really nice and will serve you happily and quickly.

The rooms are intensely basic and could well be in a time warp from the eighties. For me it did the job I was looking for - a bed for the night. But it's not something I'd go for otherwise - the amenities are dated and the facilities are worn out. Not to mention the 8inch TV.

The only redeeming factor for this hotel is it's accessibility. It's close enough to the strip to be a nice short walk back to your room but far away enough so that you're not kept awake till 7am or woken up at the same time depending on your trip.

On checkout we were waiting for around 20 minutes while the only recpetionist went to check our room before refunding us the deposit, she didn't tell us this, just disappeared through the back room and left us scratching our heads.

Quick sidenote - if you don't eat meat be prepared to eat a lot of chips or cheese & tomato toasties/pizzas, options are very limited.

Overall I would only reccomend this for group holidays or holidays where you plan to spend as little time as possible in the hotel, that's not a bad thing though as there is always plenty to see and do around Albufeira.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank TophersTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2014

I stayed at these apartments a few weeks ago with ten of my friends as an end of university celebration. As we are students we planned a holiday on a very tight budget and so when we arrived here and had to hand over fifty euros EACH as a deposit we were a bit put out. Some of us had only brought 100 euros for the entire holiday! Clearly the owners of these apartments have been burnt in the past and are covering their backs which is fully understandable however we were never informed of this charge at any point during the booking and it did have an effect on our holiday.

Ignoring that factor these apartments are actually very good value for money, they are spacious and comfortable with all the necessary amenities that you would need and they were cleaned every day. The pool area is also kept clean and tidy and the pool is a good size.

The strip is only five minutes away and the beach is ten minutes away so the location is great. Overall I would stay here again however the deposit charge should be made clear when booking.

Room Tip: Get a pool view room as our friends were looking over an abandoned building which wasn't as nice...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank cdavey7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2014 via mobile

Just returned from an 8 day stay here, lovely little hotel, bit dated but very clean. Literally 5 minutes from the strip, but still incredibly quiet. Would stay here again anytime . Lovely walk down to the beach, bit harder to walk back up . Nice pub at the top of the hotel, wander inn, well worth a visit.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
2  Thank dozyone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2014

Just returned today from a great week at the Solar de Sao Joao. Staff wonderfully helpful, everything spotless, pool area lovely, great location near to restaurants etc but far enough away to enjoy some peace ! Could do with a refurbishment but still charming !

Room Tip: We had a room with pool view which was lovely
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jacqui C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Solar de Sao Joao

Address: Rua do Solar 774, Albufeira 8200-290, Portugal
Region: Portugal > Algarve > Faro District > Albufeira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #100 of 154 Hotels in Albufeira
Price Range: £15 - £163 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Solar de Sao Joao 3*
Number of rooms: 75
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This charming and inviting apartment complex disposes of a fantastic tropical garden and although located at the heart of the tourist centre and only a few minutes from the divine bay of Praia da Oura and the Strip, it is an island of peace and offers a unique experience of tranquility. Excellent shops, restaurants and bars are in the immediate vicinity. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Solar De Sao Joao Hotel Albufeira
Solar De Sao Joao Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

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